Home | Industry & Reform | Major changes aged care can expect in 2023
Minister of Sport and Aged Care, Anika Wells. Picture: Gary Ramage Newswire/News Corp Australia

Major changes aged care can expect in 2023

After a year of rapid changes around laws and mandates in aged care, the sector is looking ahead to more reforms to come in the next year.

Aged Care Minister Anika Wells introduced two pieces of legislation in July this year with an eye on reforming the care industry.

The new laws are responding to recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Aged Care that handed down its final report in 2021, calling for an urgent overhaul of the sector.

The first piece that passed on August 5th was the Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Act 2022, which set in motion nine reform measures.

"[This bill will] bring dignity, care, accountability and humanity back into aged care," Wells said during the bill's announcement.

Noteworthy changes include the Star Rating system in My Aged Care, the Code of Conduct standard for providers and workers, and the AN-ACC funding model.

The Aged Care Amendment (Implementing Care Reform) Bill 2022 received Royal Assent on November 9th and sets standards around care minutes and staffing levels providers must comply with.

The Aged Care Amendment (Implementing Care Reform) Bill 2022

From October 1st 2023, each resident should receive 200 care minutes per day, of which 40 nursing minutes.

This figure is expected to be raised to 215 care minutes and 44 nursing minutes from October 1st 2024. 

Aged care homes must also have a registered nurse onsite and on duty at all times from July 1st, 2023.

The government is funding providers to meet these mandates through the AN-ACC model ($2.5 billion over four years).

In addition, the bill sets new responsibilities for providers around reporting to the government on their services, staffing levels and financial situation.

This information will become publicly available on the Department of Health's website in the near future.

Aside from annual reporting, the department introduced the Quarterly Financial Report (QFR), where providers answer questions about their compliance with the standards, labour costs and hours, and food and nutrition.

The first report was due November 4th, 2022, and the upcoming deadline is February 14th, 2023.

The bill also gave power to the government to cap fees providers can apply to those receiving a home care package.

Lastly, it removed the ability of providers to charge the care recipient an exit amount.

The Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2022

The Aged Care and Other Legislation act responded to seventeen recommendations by the Royal Commission to improve care services delivered to older Australians. 

In October 2022, the AN-ACC funding model kicked off and replaced the existing funding model, ACFI.

AN-ACC determines how much funding providers receive for their service based on the types of care and residents' personal needs. 

Last week, residential care also saw the launch of the Code of Conduct – a standard for aged care workers and providers on how quality care should be delivered.

ACWIC chair Libby Lyons said the Code of Conduct strengthens guidelines around expectations of everyone involved in aged care.

"It means treating all people with dignity and respect, valuing their privacy and acting in the best interests and care of the individual," Lyons said. 

"In practice, it means acting promptly to respond to concerns and to provide care and support free from discrimination, exploitation, neglect and abuse."

Moreover, people will be able to choose an aged care service based on their respective Star Ratings listed on My Aged Care by the end of 2022.

One star will signify an aged care provider needs 'significant improvements', three stars means they offer 'acceptable' quality of care and five provides 'excellent' service.'

The score is based on four categories, including experience from residents through interviews, and data derived from annual and quarterly reports.

December also marked the extension of the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) from residential aged care to in-home and flexible care and legislative changes regarding provider governance. 

The bill sought to boost management over providers by amending rules around body membership, advisory bodies, and the reporting on (suitability of) key staff.

Plus, it gave the commissioner and the secretary authority to request documents and information from providers regarding refundable deposits or accommodation bonds.

Finally, changes were made to the use of restrictive practices to better align with consent laws and varying state and territory guardianship laws.

The bill has set interim measures until arrangements are registered at the department.


The Aged Care Amendment (Implementing Care Reform) Bill 2022 introduces the following major reforms to aged care:

  • 24/7 onsite and on-duty registered nurse – due to commence on July 1st, 2023.
  • Mandatory 200 minutes of care time per resident per day – due to commence on October 1st, 2023.
  • Mandatory 215 minutes of care time per resident per day – due to commence on October 1st, 2024.
  • The capping home care charges – due to commence on January 1st, 2023.
  • Publication of information about aged care services – commenced on December 1st, 2022.

The Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Act 2022 introduces the following major reforms to aged care:

  • The AN-ACC funding model – commenced on October 1st, 2022.
  • The Code of Conduct – commenced on December 1st, 2022.
  • Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) – commenced on December 1st, 2022. 
  • Changes to provider governance – commenced on December 1st, 2022.
  • The Star Rating system – due to commence by the end of December 2022.
  • Legislative changes around reporting, transparency and accountability — came in place over the course of October to December 2022.
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  1. More bandaid solutions to reform the blistering sore of issues in the aged care industry, the only reform that will make a real and effective difference is to legislate for a mandatory Certificate 3 qualification preferably from a TAFE course (some courses teach this in six weeks, which is unrealistic and not comprehensive enough to teach the skills set required). How do you expect untrained, partially trained and poorly trained care workers to attain to the 8 Standards, respect and respond to the Rights of Older People and truly perform their work according to the new Code of Conduct.

  2. We have recently been working with a number of home care providers using Riskteq our Risk management solution http://www.riskteq.com. inductions for staff, hazard identification, feedback, continuous improvement, scheduled maintenance of assets in residential homes and managing contractors qualifications/certification are the most frequently requested modules.

  3. So now u der Labor resudential aged care will be so much more expensive, putt8ng it out of reach for many in need.

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